Guest Opinions

Hold politicians accountable; vote yes on constitutional amendment

House Joint Resolution 5 will be on your November ballot. By voting yes on HJR 5, you will be securing the ability to hold politicians accountable, protect Idahoans from excessive regulations, ensure your voice is heard and hold our state government accountable to the people it serves.

The whole purpose of democracy is for everyone to have a say in rules, regulations and what goes on in their state. Every year a review occurs of state government rules that are overreaching and too burdensome. A key part of the review each year is listening to citizens who are best qualified to tell us whether or not the rules will work in real-life situations. A yes vote on HJR 5 ensures that in the future, the Legislature’s current authority to approve or reject agency rules will not be taken away by an activist court, as has happened in other states and at the federal level.

Our great nation was founded upon a system of government that created a balance of power within three branches. Each branch has its own role to play. This system was built so no single person or group could gain excessive power. When that balance of power blurs, it impacts all Americans. This same system applies to Idaho government as well.

Voting yes on HJR 5 encourages better communication and cooperation within our branches of state government. Politicians and state government employees will not be able to blame each other for unnecessary, burdensome regulations that affect your everyday lives. HJR 5 holds them accountable to citizens, ensuring that our voices are heard.

Agencies are unelected government officials that often do not understand the impact of their rules and regulations on Idaho families, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. Voting yes on HJR 5 prevents state agencies from implementing overreaching and burdensome rules that negatively impact your livelihood, your leisure and your way of life.

For these reasons and many more, HJR 5 has the strong support of the Idaho Farm Bureau, the Milk Producers of Idaho, the Idaho Chamber of Commerce Alliance, the Idaho Realtors Association and the Idaho Water Users Association, just to name a few. Many other small-business owners, farmers, ranchers and families are supporting this important initiative. I urge you to join them and me and vote yes on HJR 5, and hold your state government accountable for its actions.

Jim Risch is a Republican U.S. senator representing Idaho in Congress.